Educational Articles

Dogs + Characteristics

  • Bergamascos are easygoing, balanced, and observant, and tend to bond strongly with their owners. They are patient and tolerant with children, making them excellent family guardians and companions.

  • Boerboels are strong and fearless with guardian instincts, but they're also very playful and affectionate toward their owners.

  • When governor Richard W. Riley signed into law the act making the Boykin Spaniel the state dog in South Carolina, he said it was because of the fierce dedication, stalwart loyalty, noble character, and eagerness for both hard work and lively play exemplified by this native breed.

  • Cirnechi are friendly, affectionate, and loyal – but they're also independent and incredibly intelligent. Although they're only moderate energy dogs, they need plenty of mental stimulation in order to be happy.

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a genetic mutation affecting many breeds that causes developmental defects in the eye that can lead to vision deficits or blindness. This defect can be diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist between 6 and 8 weeks of age by visualizing spots of choroidal hypoplasia or a colobomas . It can be associated with microphthalmia or enophthalmia. It can lead to retinal detachment and blindness. Although laser repair of partial retinal detachments can be attempted if detected in early stages, there is generally no treatment for CEA. Vision varies depending on the extent of the lesions and some dogs will become blind. Prevention requires not breeding animals that carry the mutation and this can be achieved through genetic testing of breeding dogs.

  • This handout discusses excessive drooling (hyper-salivation) in dogs. There can be many causes for this particular complaint, and a short discussion of the more common reasons is included. Further diagnostic and treatment options are outlined.

  • The simple answer to a complicated, much researched question is, yes! Dogs do recognize our facial expressions which makes them wonderful family members.

  • Knowing how and what your dog can see will help you make good choices for her. For example, you should keep your dog’s color range in mind when shopping for toys. She will enjoy yellow and blue toys more than red ones. And you’ll understand why she gets distracted during a game of fetch as she hones in on a bird flying 50 yards away. You’ll also know that to get her complete attention, you should stand directly in front of her where her range of visual acuity is greatest. And the next time you are lucky enough to be graced with a rainbow in the sky, rest assured that your dog can enjoy it, too. She will not see ALL the colors of the rainbow, but she may see a bit of yellow and blue. And that will be just fine for her!

  • Getting a dog is a long-term commitment. Before choosing a pet, consider initial and recurring costs, home environment, size, temperament, and physical characteristics of the dog. Consider training, exercising, and grooming needs, along with your lifestyle.

  • Despite the huge variety in coat color, there are only two basic pigments that determine the color of canines: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). All different variations in color are created by these two pigments, which are both forms of melanin. This handout discusses the details of genetics and coat color selection.